One of Anthony Burgess’s first commissions from Penguin Books was to write an introduction to Daniel Defoe’s A Journal of the Plague Year, published in 1966 as part of the Penguin English Library. His introduction is still available in the current Penguin Classics edition, and it remains a lively and thoughtful preparation for Defoe’s haunting […]

Throughout his career, Anthony Burgess emphasised his status as a Mancunian who defined himself in opposition to the London literary establishment. In his biography of Shakespeare (1970), he draws parallels between himself and the playwright’s childhood and education away from the capital. Yet, like Shakespeare, Burgess was drawn to London from the provinces, and the […]